Are You Ready For Change?

03/04/2015 12:25 pm ET | Updated May 04, 2015

Change is inevitable. Change is constant. As a psychologist I regularly push business owners who are stuck growing their companies or individuals that are struggling with drug and alcohol use, abusive and toxic relationships, loveless marriages, stuck-in-a-rut careers and going nowhere in their lives to abandon those irrational, egotistical, selfish and paralyzing thoughts and worries to give themselves a fighting chance to reach the goals they want and to enjoy life to the fullest.

Those who refuse to do the work that therapy or coaching require are asked to go home and not return until they decide they are "sick and tired of being sick and tired." Please come see me when finally, "enough is enough."

Change occurs over five stages. It is not an overnight process. Many clients, however, demonstrate they have no intention to change their behavior. They are in denial. Outlining and illustrating the effects their lack of change has on loved ones, their company, goals and dreams sometimes produces mixed results. What does it take for a person to really piss or get off the pot?

Those who are prepared and determined to change have made a non-negotiable decision to move forward. They understand their shortcomings that contribute to the mayhem in their life or unprofitable business. They have also developed a realistic plan to succeed. However, those who fail to write their plan, plan to fail. They are more likely to fall off the wagon and stay there on the ground waiting for someone to give them a handout or carry them to and across the finish line. That's not how lasting change works.

You won't grow that million-dollar business using the same strategy when you only brought in ten thousand dollars worth of business. You won't meet the right person or get married if you only patronize at the same bars where the undesirables frequent. You won't get that new job or your career will stay in neutral. You must be willing to do something different. You must be willing to give up the excuses, which are monuments of nothingness that lead to a bridge of nowhere. Additionally, you must be willing to change your old practices and adopt new habits.

Be encouraged. Pick yourself back up and get back on track. Demonstrate discipline. Surround yourself with supportive people, eliminate excuses and access to temptations that keep you stuck and frustrated and use rewards to sustain your motivation. As Sam Cooke sings, " A change gone come." But truthfully it will only occur when you get up, put one foot in front of the other and make a non-negotiable decision to keep moving forward.

This blogger graduated from Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Small Businesses program. Goldman Sachs is a partner of the What Is Working: Small Businesses section.